Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-101498
Description

USS Mississippi (BB 23)

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USS Mississippi (Battleship # 23), 1908-1914

USS Mississippi, first of a class of two 13,000-ton battleships, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was commissioned in February 1908 and spent her first few years of service operating along the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean area. In addition, in May 1909, the battleship cruised up the Mississippi River to demonstrate contemporary naval technology to the citizens of the south-central United States.


In late 1910, Mississippi steamed across the Atlantic to call on ports in Great Britain and France. She thereafter returned to her normal operating areas in the western Atlantic. In June 1912, she landed U.S. Marines in Cuba to protect U.S. interests. In reserve from mid-1912 until the end of 1913, Mississippi then carried men and equipment to Pensacola, Florida, where she supported the conversion of the old Naval facility there into a naval air station. In April and May 1914, she transported seaplanes and aviators to Vera Cruz, Mexico, and acted as their tender during the Navy's first combat aviation deployment. After further duty at Pensacola, Mississippi was sold to Greece in July 1914. Renamed Kilkis, she served in the Greek Navy until 23 April 1941, when she was sunk by German dive bombers at Salamis.